Preppers

Preppers is a series of related exhibitions by artists Guy Louden, Dan McCabe, and Loren Kronemyer.

Preppers are a subculture of people that actively prepare for the collapse of society. They collect specialised survival products, skills, and knowledge. Prepping has developed its own codified aesthetics, vocabulary, and consumer objects that embody its apocalyptic and individualistic values.

They imagine a post-apocalyptic future without society or state, or in prepper jargon, a world “Without Rule of Law”. Among the rich, prepping has ironically led to a boom in luxury disaster provisions and gear. When the tables turn, the prepared wish to emerge with every advantage.

This project was funded by the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) Culture and the Arts (WA).

Date Show Gallery
Upcoming Preppers Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth
14 March 2018 WROL Bus Projects, Melbourne
6 September 2017 SHTF Firstdraft, Sydney
8 April 2017 Preppers Polizia, Perth

Documentation

Resources

Guy Louden,What are you prepping for?, 2018, custom videogame.

A first-person drifter videogame set in an abstract post-apoc world. Features found-text from prepper survival forums.

First presented as part of ‘SHTF’ at Firstdraft gallery, Sydney.


Type Title Source
Review Penultimate Cyphers *dumb brun(ette)
Review Doomsday Preppers Art Guide AU
Review SHTF Amelia Navascues, Framework
MR Without Rule of Law Preppers
Catalogue SHTF Preppers

Catalogue Preppers Preppers

Catalogue Essay

Whilst sending our deepest sympathies to the family of the lady mauled to death by her own dog.

By Graham Mathwin

(You can play card games with them too). The days dragged out into weeks, then months, then years, then all failed. The authorities condemned their useless powers. Hitler recognised himself in the prophecies by the mid 1930s and Goebells made great propaganda out of them in the pre-war party years. It was believed that once Psy's Gangnam Style video on YouTube amassed a billion views, the world would end. He would jerk upright out of his sleep and slap about him looking for the pistol. Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time. Now is the time. Curse God and die. What if it doesn’t fire? It has to fire. What if it doesn’t fire? Could you crush that beloved skull with a rock? How would you like to have all the survival information you would ever need, all in your pocket? Is there such a being within you of which you know nothing? Can there be?

Child size army outfit. For forty years the rainbow was not be seen. For forty years it was seen every day. The dry earth grew more parched, (How about a clock powered solely by salt water. It keeps great time too) and there were great floods when it was seen. Heaven seemed unjust both on land and sea and in the air. He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of god god never spoke. Sects, famine, kingdoms, plagues, confusion. The great famine which he sensed approaching had turned (in various areas) then became worldwide. It was so vast and long lasting that they grabbed the roots from the trees and children from the breast. We are in a very evil century.

Check out our $10 rail. We’re going to be okay aren’t we papa? Yes. We Are. And nothing bad is going to happen to us. That’s right. Because we’re carrying the fire. Take Paracord Accessories to the next level.

Is this a foretaste of the end of the century? From Monaco as far as sicily all the coast remained deserted. There was no Beautiful Marina, luxury boats, wild dolphins, great Restaurants, best ladies fashions, ample free parking which had not been pillaged and robbed by barbarians. Like all purgatories, the beach was a waiting ground, the endless stretches of wet salt sucking away from them all but the hardest core of themselves. Here we are entering a period of intense cadaverousness and our imaginations are simply not up to it.

The names of birds. When the exhausted sun took up his cycle then my prophecy and threats were accomplished. The sacred idiom shorn of its referents and so of its reality. Drawing down like something trying to preserve heat. In time to wink out forever. The world shrinking down about a raw core of parsible entities. Is it only the external landscape that is altering? How often recently most of us have had the feeling of deja vu, of having seen all this before, in fact remembering these swamps and lagoons all too well. However selective the conscious mind may be, most biological memories are unpleasant ones. Nothing endures so long as fear. The names of things slowly following those things into oblivion. Colours. Things to eat. Finally the names of things one believed to be true. The archaic Sun in his mind beat again continuously with its immense power, its identity merging now with that of the real sun visible behind the rain-clouds. Relentless and magnetic, it called him southwards, to the great heat and submerged lagoons of the equator. A second Adam searching for the forgotten paradises of the reborn sun.

...Cro-Magnon Man was driven frantic by panic, like the Gadarene swine - most of the bone-beds have been found under lake shores. The reflex may be too strong-- It feels so good to disappear among the masses Even better than getting high on transcendence is to wallow in the nausea of immanence. The masses. If there are 6 people or more in a meter square around you, you can suffocate as though a huge python was wrapped around you. A dream opportunity for the individual to disappear and yet still be able to lament his alienation and his lost subjectivity. You may or may not agree with our advice that is your choice as we live in a democracy.

Phantom Pains. In response to the rise in temperature, humidity and radiation levels the flora and fauna of this planet are beginning to assume once again the forms they a displayed last time such conditions were present...Everywhere there's been the same avalanche backwards into the past. In what direction did lost men veer? Perhaps it changed with hemispheres. Or handedness. Finally he put it out of his mind. The notion that there could be anything to correct for. His mind was betraying him. Phantoms not heard from in a thousand years rousing slowly from their sleep. Correct for that. If we let these buried phantoms masters as they reappear we’ll be swept back helplessly in the flood tide like pieces of flotsam. He now accepted that he would have to leave the solitary shack and join the Reverend Johnstone’s small feudal world. At least the institutional relics and taboos would allay his memories in a way he alone could not.

We’re not going to kill it, are we Papa? Please go to Greyhound Adoptions WA to see the link to help put a STOP to the cruel and horrendous suffering of Greyhound dogs being used in live animal experiments. In this day of high technologies, digital imaging etc. there is no need to subject these helpless and beautiful animals to such suffering and pain. He looked down at the boy. Shivering in his coats. He bent over and kissed him on his gritty brow. We won’t hurt the dog, he said. I promise.

Put your mobile phone away. You wanted to know what the bad guys looked like. Now you know. Observe the potential S/B, does he/ she look nervous, fidgeting, sweating are his clothes too bulky or too warm for the environment. If your instincts are screaming at you now, listen to them. It may happen again. My job is to take care of you. I was appointed to do that by God. I will kill anyone who touches you. (kidney stab throat slit/ brachial stun throat cut/ garrotte) Do you understand? Yes. Define the word “shield” as whatever or whoever there is around. After a while he looked up. Are we still the good guys? He said. Yes. We’re still the good guys. And we always will be. Yes. We Always will be. Okay.

Okay. TSHF. Drop to the floor. Cross your legs, legs facing the S/B giving the smallest target for the fall out. Here too we must choose and make our own personal obituaries. Are we going to die now? Face down, Hands covering your head and ears. No. Tuck elbows into your ribs - protect the vital organs. What are we going to do? Close your eyes but OPEN YOUR MOUTH- this will equalise the pressure of the bomb blast, reducing damage to the ears and lungs. Practise this stance as if your life depends on it! Then we’re going to keep on going down the road. Okay.

Once again, we find ourselves with a heavy heart. We are saddened by the news that Jamie, the baby alpaca, has been found dead. Heartless cowards! The team sends their deepest sympathies for those affected by the mindless actions of terrorists. We’ve come to see a message in each such late history, a message and a warning, and so this tableau of the slain and the devoured will prove to be. Never more than now, no matter where you are, whatever you are doing, beware of your surrounding, have in the back of your mind an exit plan if you need to move quickly. Do you think that your fathers are watching? Do you have a wide range of water purification units? That they weigh you in their ledgerbook? Also water bottles? There is no book and your fathers are dead in the ground.

Think how a boxer stands in the ring when a heavyweight is beating him to a pulp. There was a lingering odor of cows in the barn and he stood there thinking about cows and he realised they were extinct. Do not bend down to pick up bags, phone. If you bend down you may never get back up again.

They never heard the dog again. While we must continue to enjoy life to the fullest, we need to be aware of our surroundings. This is the biggest factor for any survival situation. In crowded areas/ venues, this is where the S/B plies his trade. Scan the crowds, look for large bags or backpacks, especially if the venue has prohibited them or looks out of place for the venue. But one moment still, let us gaze together on these familiar shores, on these objects which we doubtless shall not see again… let us try, if we can, to enter into death with open eyes…I can do you a great deal on all these items.

All words from JG Ballard’s The Drowned World; The Drought; and The Reptile Enclosure from The Terminal Beach; Cormac McCarthy’s The Road; Jean Baudrillard’s Cool Memories; The prophecies of Nostradamus, translated, edited and interpreted by Erika Cheetham; a wikipedia entry on the hoaxes associated with The Prophecies of Nostradamus; Marguerite Yourcenar’s Memoirs of Hadrian; the facebook page of Survival Preppers, preparation store located at 16, Dophin Quay, Mandurah, Western Australia; and the Australian Preppers facebook page.

Guy Louden 2018

guypatricklouden@gmail.com

Photos: D.McCabe

Code: G.Louden